It's Official (PPH IS NUMBER 1, and not in a good way)

Thought Upwork was expensive with its fees? Well, PPH have today gone one better and most likely surpassed them in becoming the most expensive platform for freelancers.

 

The vast majority of invoices (those for jobs less than £500, with one off clients) not only will PPH take 20% plus VAT from the seller, but also a further 10% from the buyer as payment fees.

 

Greed, pure greed.

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51 comments

Official comment

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Natalie

Hello to all of you,

My name is Natalie and I am the Customer Support manager at PPH. 

First of all, please, I want to let you know that I understand your frustration and I shall not go against it. You are TOP Sellers and I am personally following and reading every single feedback, complaints you may have and, always, escalating them to my team. Meri, I hear your concern; always am. 

Nevertheless, at PeoplePerHour, we are constantly monitoring the platform and looking for improvements that will benefit the community overall. Research among community members has shown that a fee structure that encourages the building of high-value long-term relationships between Buyers and Sellers is something the majority of Sellers welcome and will reap clear financial benefits from. The new structure significantly reduces commission once your relationship is well established, and doesn’t reset earnings each month like total billing structures and, even if you currently don’t have enough earnings with a specific Buyer for this change to be beneficial to you, this is bound to change as time passes and your earnings with them stack up, thus clearly benefitting you in the long run. 

I have gone through the thread and would also like to point out that we informed all of our active users that this change would be into effect from the 1st of July and, as from this date, you will be able to see your updated service fees structure on the Control Panel of your Payments section. 

I have no problem replying to your inquiries, one by one, and you are free to email me or even send a support ticket requesting from me - I shall reply asap. 

Please though keep in mind that your feedback is not a waste and I am glad you have created this thread so I can review your complaints and thoughts and pass them through. 

I hope you have a lovely day.

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Mohammed

Strike? is it possible ?

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Paul

I just noticed this -- they can't be serious??  No announcement either??  I have been on this platform a long time and given them thousands in fees.  

I write articles, the majority of clients are relatively new or don't buy much volume.  So I'll be paying 20% on nearly EVERYTHING.  This is unbelievable, I am furious right now.

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Martin

Yesterday a £400 website build, the commission would have been £17 with VAT  

Today a £400 website build, the commission will be £96 with VAT. 

PURE GREED. 

 Most of my jobs on Peopleperhour are one off jobs that are usually under £500 so I will be charged the 20% commission most of the time. 

 The new commission the will push people away from Peopleperhour.

 I’m bitterly disappointed with PPH. 

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Sean

Martin,

The easy answer is raise your prices, though psychologically you have to believe in your own worth.

The challenge will be to add more (perceived) value to the website build, such as GDPR compliant terms and processes (there are plugins, such as from Cyril Jupta/Gupta, that you can get a commercial license for, for relatively little), and change the buyer's experience that they are getting an exclusive service for amazing value.

I have a guy that does websites, and he was at a similar price point, but now bills a minimum of £1500 per website build, and clients are 'sold' that they are getting £1000's more in value.

A long video but worth watching, great part of it is about when he was a copy writer and his mentor instructed him on pricing - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjCP-lW4jMc

I hope everyone manages to overcome this price hike with whatever solution that requires, including having to move away from PPH and do less work on the platform, otherwise most will end up working for less, which I don't think is an option.

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Paul

"The easy answer is raise your prices, though psychologically you have to believe in your own worth."

The BUYER has to have the money to pay for the services. Nothing to do with how much you think you are worth.

By constantly increasing commissions and prices, buyers will leave and freelancers will find better platforms with more market share and lower commissions.  

This will not end well for PPH, it is a race to the bottom.  They should have kept fees low to attract more customers and freelancers.  Many people will be leaving.

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Sean

Paul, there was a single email, with a very innocuous title, and the message was 'we're reducing our fees' so there's a god chance you overlooked it.

The shame is that PPH's Facebook page is not used to communicate to the user base at all; they've completely failed to respond to any related threads here, and that just paints a really bad image for me, and likely others too.

Whoever is their communications director should be job hunting right now.

The way they've handled this is similar to previous times, where they simply batten down the hatches and weather the storm.

All too often they completely ignore their user base (I'm a top cert and have been for years) yet claim 'the majority of our sellers support this new fee structure as it promotes better engagement blah blah', which is nonsense. I can't remember ever being asked for my opinion as one of the highest ranked members and similarly have generated £1,000s in fees over the years.

Not a good way to do business in my humble opinion, and I still can't get to grips with how long it takes for a payment to be processed because they still have a manual process and it isn't automated.

The future isn't bright with PPH unless they radically change their approach. 3 or 4 fee hikes in 2 years or so, is not a good sign.

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Paul

I think the company is done.  I am already looking at other freelancer sites.  I have earned over $40,000 with PPH in the past few years.  I spent the time to grow my client list, kept a 100% rating by over delivering.  But fee increase after fee increase is too much. 

I only have a handful of very long term clients.  One of them decided to leave the platform last week and employ someone in house because of the fees.  They are even worse now.  How is PPH going to compete against other platforms with more users, better technology, and lower fees?  

Are they preparing to sell the company?  Is that why they are squeezing freelancers for every cent?

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Sean

'The BUYER has to have the money to pay for the services. Nothing to do with how much you think you are worth.'

Then find the right buyers that do.

I could be managing countless ad campaigns for £500 a month, but instead I manage several for £3000+ per month.

It is everything to do with how much you think you're worth and how much you value your time.

Break it down into the number of hours on a typical project and work out your hourly rate, then compare that with the industry standard plus 20-30% to take into account other costs of being self employed.

Are you worth £5 per hour, or £50 per hour?

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you success.

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Sean

Hi Paul,

I hear you. Have been doing the same myself the last few weeks and already secured an ongoing contract on a rival site.

I'm not sure what the motive is for the changes, but someone is squeezing to make more margin and to do that with existing market share rather than increased market share.

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Mohammed

I was on the 15%- 3,5% fee scheme, so I guess it's now 20% for everyone right? I did not see the message they sent.

 

 

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Sean

HI Mohammed,

I was on exactly the same, the original fee structure.

The new system goes like this:

On a per client basis, taking into account all previous paid invoices,

The first £500 per client will be at 20%

From £501 to £5000 will be at 7.5%

Anything over £5000 will be at 3.5%

 

And of course, these rates are exclusive of VAT which will also be applied to the fee amount.

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Mohammed

That previous £50 blackmail did not work for them , was like paying £7,5 month that I even asked the support to put a £7,5 monthly membership instead of threatening me...

it's exactly what expected in the past years , PPH is now Americanized at 200%, it's compatible and ready to merge with Upwork

 

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Martin

I have just built the customer £750.

PPH Peopleperhour have deducted £142.50. 

So I receive £607.50. A 19% overall deduction with VAT. 

I feel very sick to be honest. 

Exremely disappointed. 

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Sean

Likewise, an invoice paid today by a client that would have had £16.80 in fees, instead was £36 fees, and this is just the start.

 

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Sean

PPH, your silence on these threads speaks VOLUMES

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Martin

Surely this is illegal.....

PPH June 4th

"we believe this can lead to a substantial increase in your take-home pay."

"we are now reducing our fees"

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Sean

definitely creative writing, if not a bare faced lie.

My other favourite line was akin to - 'the majority of our sellers agree/think this is a good idea/are in support of...'

on another post, i pointed out that it is impossible for me to pay less fees if on the 15% for first £175 per month and 3.5% thereafter.

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Paul

They lied to us.  This is a money grab.  They already had high fees, this is obscene.

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Meri

Is there anything we can do as sellers to make PPH listen? I am sick with worry- all my clients are one offs and all jobs are under £500. 

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Simon

I lost the 15% rate with the £175 threshold last year, and so the latest change makes little difference to me. The quality and availability of projects in my field of expertise has declined to such an extent I can't imagine earning £500 in a single month again.

When I started here two years ago I was getting regular work and it was reasonably well paid. Now it is completely changed. The type of buyers I was working for have gone and been replaced by scammers and people sub contracting their own work for a pittance. Sooner or later I will stop logging in to the site altogether. Why use my 20 years of programming experience when I can fill shelves in my local supermarket at 5 times the hourly rate people are offering here?

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Sean

Shaking my head in disbelief.

There is just no consistency.

Given the rather crude explanation provided by PPH as to the rationale behind their new fee structure, I click to see a new job post with a fixed budget of £200, to be told by the appearance of a prominent banner, that it is a .... wait for it, a 'high value job' LMAO, oh come on, that's golden that is.

But, it doesn't end there.

It is such high value, that there is another notification on screen that informs me:

 Bidding on high value Jobs costs 3 proposal credits

 

No consistency, no thought, no actively seeking buyers with decent projects, but still insistent on taking a thick wedge from both ends, and even then trying to make a little extra by trying to get sellers to buy credits when they run out because a £200 job, which would leave less than £180 after fees, is a high value job.

You couldn't make this up if you tried.

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Martin

Last week I saw a "High Value" website for £120! What a joke.

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Mohammed

There should be a loophole somewhere -actually there are many to bypass this #@$% without violating the terms, I'm not going to share any, as they will update their terms page. Read the terms page and memorize it.

1- Buyer fee : I once complained about the 10% buyer fee, they created a customized farce to convince me that 5% is a transaction fee and 5% is a fee to use the website (even if you deposit to pay for anything other than jobs), then they removed bank transfers. it was no coincidence that they do this right after my complain, in reality this is a cancellation fee included in the deposit...which is 10% (fee to use the website whether it works for you or not)

https://support.peopleperhour.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115008368308-Are-you-happy-to-pay-10-deposit-fees-

2- Cancellation Fee 10% ripoff -if you don't claim it they take it-:

Look how many times I warn new buyers that if it's the seller's fault for the cancellation you have the right to full refund -no 10% cancellation fee- now this terms section is removed , because all fees are included in the deposit and taken from sellers earnings (oil prices, global warming, wars, World Cup etc...)

https://support.peopleperhour.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115008155267-Paid-8-For-nothing-?page=1#community_comment_115005412367

https://support.peopleperhour.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115007827247-Refund-fee-10-detucted?page=1#community_comment_115005155747

https://support.peopleperhour.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115007450167-Refund-Issue?page=1#community_comment_115005154828

https://support.peopleperhour.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115007375727-10-refund-fee?page=1#community_comment_115005035328

3- Hidden FX fee : not the currency exchange fee (that's another story), but when your earnings are in different currencies, PPH will make a virtual FX to your main account currency to calculate fees, so they take a 2,5 to 3% fee for a virtual FX , why it's virtual , because you did not make any currency exchange

exp here : https://support.peopleperhour.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115009192268-High-value-job-?page=1#community_comment_115005374548

No surprise if I see PPH charge me 80% and leave 20%

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meri

What I cannot understand is why PPH didn't consult their sellers on this- they say that most of the community wants this change- but I was never asked my opinion on this (and I am not being over dramatic here) life changing decision to increase the fees. Was anyone else asked and I missed it?

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Hannah

I agree Meri, I wasn't consulted either. I'd love to hear from someone who was, and who agreed to it. I also agree that it's life changing - there are zero considerations for our personal circumstances and how these huge hikes in fees will impact on us. 

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Sean

I don't think anyone was consulted and what they put in their email was a barefaced lie.

Their approach to communication is pretty much non existent. Their Facebook page (what should be one of their biggest assets) is a joke.

Then before all of this, there was a time there was a PPH app, which they decided to axe too.

Its a shocking way to do business and one can envisage a new start up platform, for freelancers, run by freelancers, a marketplace if you will, buyers have quality projects, and fees are sensible, or is that too much to ask?

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Kay

Sean, if only that could happen! I've been top cert for four years but the new fees are ridiculous. I've certainly never been consulted by PPH about anything ... so where's everybody going to migrate to?

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Mohammed

PPH sent me a copy of that email, having fun for the moment...

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Meri

I remember the app Sean...and the live chat. Kay- it will be cheaper for me to run a website and my own marketing for what PPH are now charging so likely to start out on my own. 

Still no reply. I have sent an email to PPH outlining how upset I am- has everyone else done the same? I know I will get the same stock answer as always and then asked to rate the response...but perhaps our voice will be louder if it is collective. 

I am guessing there is no lobbying body/union we can approach as lowly freelancers?

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